On Anthropomorphism: A Short Introduction

One of the main ways that animal interests are misunderstood is through anthropomorphism. In order to explore this I’m going to publish an occasional blog with examples of anthropomorphism from the media and, usually, a comment from an animal behavior or other expert about the motivations of the nonhuman animals portrayed. But, what exactly is anthropomorphism?… more

Lab Meat: Can in vitro meat save the animals? With Nicholas Genovese, David Pearce, and Jordi Casamitjana

A future with cheap lab meat could be drastically different – for humans and animals. How would it work? And is the development of this technology good for animals?

Ian talks to Nicholas Genovese, a PETA-funded scientist working on the stem cells that could make up what he calls cultured meat. Diana asks two vegans, transhuman philosopher David Pearce and activist Jordi Casamitjana, why they are for or against in vitro meat; and reveals the results of her survey. Will vegans and meat eaters ever be able to get beyond the “ick” factor of cultured meat? more

VegfestUK Awards Nomination and our next show

We are very excited to have been nominated for the VegfestUK Awards 2012 in the “Best Media Publications and Websites” category. As the stars say, it’s an honor just to be nominated but VOTE VOTE VOTE for us before May 25th. Unless you’ve been living in a cave like Al-Ma’arri you will no doubt know the media has been abuzz about in vitro meat (aka lab meat, shmeat) and the possibility of an incredibly expensive burger as soon as next fall. Our next episode deals with the issues involved but also hopes to shed some new light on the subject. Take the survey (which takes just a minute) and The survey has finished but stay tuned to find out the results.

Rebel Poet: Benjamin Zephaniah discusses the life of Abul ʿala Al-Maʿarri (أبو العلاء المعري), the medieval Arab vegan philosopher poet

A thousand years ago, Al-Ma’arri was writing Arabic poems of extreme complexity, promoting a rational ideal and most remarkably, making an ethical case for veganism. We tell the story of his life in conversation with fellow vegan rebel poet Benjamin Zephaniah. more

Rebel Poet marches fourth

I will finish editing our next show – about rebel poet Al-Ma’arri, with Benjamin Zephaniah – this weekend. Other commitments intervened, and I’m sorry not to send it your way in February. Just a few more days to go.

Rebel Poet: What do you think of al-Ma’arri? [أبو العلاء المعري]

Our next show is going to be a contrast. It’s about a blind medieval middle eastern poet with an extraordinary personal philosophy and revolutionary poetic style. Contemporaries called him “the son of the sublime”. Whilst he strove to be a recluse, students and academics came from all over the Arab world to learn at his feet. Two centuries before Dante, he wrote an Arab Divine Comedy. Seven centuries before the Enlightenment, he promoted rationalism over revelation. And – why he’s so interesting to us – nine centuries before the word “vegan”, he refused to exploit other animals. Can you imagine what is was like to encourage others to renounce meat, dairy, and honey in eleventh century Syria?… more

Coming up in 2012

Happy New Year. We’re going to stick to our goal of a show a month, but first I wanted to let you know a bit of what we’re planning for 2012, and hear what you think. Plus, I wanted to gather some information; you might be exactly who we want to talk to for a show. Please email me directly, or leave comments at the bottom. Here are four of our planned shows.… more

Diana, photographed on the TV, with her name in the TV caption

Diana on UK TV

Last Sunday and next Sunday, I’m appearing on “The Big Questions”, a BBC TV show where the audience discuss the big ethical issues of the day. In this case, whether we should all repent now it’s 2012 (of great interest to Jordan Wyatt), and if there is any evidence for God.… more